Being a person of colour, especially black, in Korea can be challenging but that is not holding Bae Yu-jin back.
Bae is a 16-year-old aspiring model born to a Nigerian father and Korean mother. She grew up being made to feel uncomfortable because ofoher skin colour. From the time she started middle school, she has had to endure relentless teasing due to her skin colour.
With the help of her mom, she decided to rise above the ridicule and chase her dream of being a model.
According to her, mother was quite skeptical of the chances of a half-black girl breaking into the Korean fashion industry.
“She used to tell me it would difficult to work as a fashion model in Korea with an appearance like mine. So she said I should become a flight attendant instead and travel around the world,” she told The Korea Times.
Bae still chased her dream and debuted at Seoul Fashion Week eight months ago after signing a contract with SHS Model Management. Her debut marked her as the second darkskinned model to ever walk the local catwalks in South Korea after male model Han Hyun Min, who is also a Nigerian-Korean teenager.
Since her debut, Bae has appeared in multiple local fashion shows. She is also prominently featured on the modeling agency’s website.
She hopes to grace the runways in European cities.
This strong lady who is doing what she loves inspite of the challenges, in an industry where she is a minority, is an inspiration to us.